Losing Fat and Losing Weight Are Not the Same Thing

Whether your doctor is encouraging you to lose weight, or you just want to fit more comfortably into your favorite jeans, looking for a beginner’s guide to fat loss can quickly lead to information overload. There are so many different diets, workout programs, supplements, and well-wishers promising (often unbelievable) results.

Fortunately, there are some basic ideas that any quality beginner’s guide to fat loss will likely provide. (And despite all of the online workout programs that include them, burpees are optional rather than required!)

If your interest is captured by claims like “drop 10 pounds in one week” or “lose 2 inches off your waist in 10 days,” you may be sad to hear that those results are not realistic. Sure, some people drop pounds quickly when starting a new program, but the weight lost is typically water, rather than fat.

And it’s also true that even as you make the lifestyle changes to lose fat, it may take time for the scale to catch up, and some people find dropping pounds faster and easier than others.

Don’t let that set you back. Realistic fat loss is only about a half pound to two pounds per week. Yes, really. And if you’re losing more than that, it isn’t sustainable.

In addition, if you start a crash diet, you’re likely to be left hungry, deprived, and dissatisfied, and after mere days or weeks, you’ll be back to eating the way you have in the past. As a result, you’ll likely bounce back even heavier than you were before.

A Beginner’s Guide to Fat Loss

When it comes to actually losing fat, there are some tried and true methods to give you the results you crave. Here’s a simple beginner’s guide to fat loss:

  1. Consume fewer calories than you burn a day, but don’t cut calories too low, as that can backfire and slow metabolism as well as lead to binge-eating behaviors.
  2. Eat mostly nutrient-dense whole foods, and limit consumption of over-processed “junk” foods.
  3. Include protein like meat, fish, eggs, beans, and legumes with every meal, and make sure you eat a high-protein breakfast to decrease food cravings the rest of the day.
  4. Cut back on carbohydrates, especially refined “white” carbs,” and load up on fiber-rich vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, Brussels sprouts, and tomatoes instead. 
  5. Avoid sugary foods, like breads and pastas, and drinks, including sodas and fruit juices.
  6. Include some healthy fats like olive, coconut, and avocado oil into your diet, which can help decrease hunger.
  7. Consume soluble fiber, which can also help keep you full and support healthy digestion.
  8. Allow flexibility in your diet. Swearing off the foods you love (like pizza or mom’s cookies) can make it difficult to stay on a long-term weight-loss journey. Focus on healthy eating 80% of the time and enjoying more freedom for fun foods 20% of the time.
  9. Get moving for at least 30 minutes a day, six days a week! Include both cardiovascular exercise (like walking, running, or cycling) and strength-training exercise (like weightlifting, kettlebell training, or bodyweight exercises) into your routine.
  10. Stay hydrated—start with a glass of water in the morning and then keep a water bottle with you all day to sip on.
  11. Eat slowly and mindfully. 
  12. Ensure you get seven to nine hours of good quality sleep every night. 
  13. Choose a plan you can stick to consistently. An okay plan you can stick to beats an amazing plan you can’t every time. Remember, progress over perfection. Start by improving one meal at a time and build on your success.
  14. Supplements made from natural ingredients such as Tetrogen can help rebalance your metabolic hormones and can be a great help in your weight loss journey.  

Is Hiking Good for Fat Loss?

What type of exercise is best for fat loss? The answer: the exercise you enjoy and, therefore, the exercise you’ll do. 

One popular exercise for fat loss is hiking. It’s both fun and fantastic for improving fitness levels. And according to many experts, it’s considered one of the best types of exercise to burn fat. 

Plus, you get to spend time outside in nature, which is healthy mentally and physically, and you burn more calories as you head up hills over uneven terrain. As you move over different angles, you’ll also engage more muscle groups, including the back, all the muscles in your thighs and butt, as well as your deep core muscles, calves, and feet.

Hiking is also healthy for the brain and can boost mood and creativity. One study

Whether your doctor is encouraging you to lose weight, or you just want to fit more comfortably into your favorite jeans, looking for a beginner’s guide to fat loss can quickly lead to information overload. There are so many different diets, workout programs, supplements, and well-wishers promising (often unbelievable) results.

Fortunately, there are some basic ideas that any quality beginner’s guide to fat loss will likely provide. (And despite all of the online workout programs that include them, burpees are optional rather than required!)

If your interest is captured by claims like “drop 10 pounds in one week” or “lose 2 inches off your waist in 10 days,” you may be sad to hear that those results are not realistic. Sure, some people drop pounds quickly when starting a new program, but the weight lost is typically water, rather than fat.

And it’s also true that even as you make the lifestyle changes to lose fat, it may take time for the scale to catch up, and some people find dropping pounds faster and easier than others.

Don’t let that set you back. Realistic fat loss is only about a half pound to two pounds per week. Yes, really. And if you’re losing more than that, it isn’t sustainable.

In addition, if you start a crash diet, you’re likely to be left hungry, deprived, and dissatisfied, and after mere days or weeks, you’ll be back to eating the way you have in the past. As a result, you’ll likely bounce back even heavier than you were before.

Common Fat-Loss Blunders to Avoid

The beginner’s guide to fat loss is simple but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. And there are some common mistakes that can make weight loss even more difficult. Some common fat-loss blunders to avoid include: 

  • Focusing only on scale weight, which can vary by up to four pounds each day. In addition to scale weight, use your clothing, a tape measure, and body fat to determine your real fat loss.
  • Eating too many or not enough calories, and not controlling portions.
  • Exercising too much or not enough.
  • Not including resistance exercise in your program to maintain lean mass.
  • Eating “diet” foods that are often just processed, high-sugar foods.
  • Depending on artificial sweeteners, which is actually linked to obesity.  
  • Drinking your calories (e.g., in sodas, fruit juices, or sugary coffee drinks).
  • Not eating enough protein and fiber.
  • Not eating vegetables or fruits with every meal.
  • Underestimating calories eaten and overestimating calories burned.
  • Thinking you can eat more because you worked out hard.
  • Not following true hunger cues and eating when distracted or not hungry.
  • Not eating whole foods.
  • Eating most meals outside of the home. 
  • Consuming more sugar than you think you are (sugar as well as sodium and fat are hidden in a lot of foods, especially those that are packaged or processed). 
  • Getting into an exercise rut and not varying workouts or pushing yourself as you get stronger and in better shape. 
  • Not getting enough sleep at night. 
  • Depriving yourself of any treats and judging food as either good or bad (which leads to self-judgement as well). 
  • Having unrealistic expectations. Remember, realistically and sustainably, fat loss is only .5 to 2 pounds max per week, and it can take months to reach your goal.

Read more about fastest way to fat loss in this post.

Concluding Thoughts on Fat Loss

Effectively losing fat and keeping it off is very possible with the right strategies and a bit of discipline.  Making some simple, long-term adjustments can help you succeed even when all else has failed.   Above all, make sure the fat burning strategies you employ are realistic and don’t require a radical departure from your current lifestyle.  Remember, make small changes, stick to them, and you’ll consistently burn fat until you finally reach your target weight.

found backpackers improved their score in a creativity test by 50% after spending four days in nature.

Best of all, hiking is usually accessible to people at any fitness level, and it’s typically free.

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